Glossary – I

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I

IL
See interleukin

innate immune system
See immune system

immune system
The immune system protects multicellular organisms against disease by detecting, identifying and killing pathogens and tumor cells. It has evolved mechanisms to distinguish between “own” and “foreign” cells or molecules and specifically combats anything detected as foreign.
The immune system comprises the innate and adaptive immune system. The innate immune system is the first line of defense, a reaction that occurs within hours after exposure to pathogens, but does not generate protective immunological memory.
In contrast, the adaptive immune system requires some time to adapt to the pathogen and its antigen. The adaptive immune response is antigen-specific. Furthermore, an immunological memory is created, which is rapidly reactivated on secondary exposure to the same pathogen.

immunofluorescence
Immunofluorescence is a technique for visualizing a specific biomolecule and its distribution. The target molecule is recognized and bound by an antibody with a chemically linked fluorescent dye. A special microscope is used for the visualization of the fluorescent dye.

INF
See interferon

innate immune system
See immune system

interferon (INF)
Interferons are a special kind of cytokines that are produced by immune cells in response to pathogens or tumor cells.

interleukin (IL)
Interleukins are types of cytokines and stimulate the development and differentiation of blood cells.